With summer and warm weather fast approaching in Washington State, the Washington State Attorney General's Office wants to warn consumers of asphalt scamming companies. Scammers usually prey on people who have gravel driveways but everyone should be alert.
After an unexpected knock on the door, a salesman announces he has some extra asphalt in his truck from a previously finished job in the neighborhood and willing to pave your driveway at a price that seems way too good to be true.
Here are some additional warning signs to look out for regarding asphalt scams:
- Selling door-to-door. Reputable asphalt contractors will rarely, if ever, sell their product door-to-door.
- Claiming they have leftover asphalt from another job. Professional asphalt contractors know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. Rarely will they have leftover material.
- Push you to make a quick decision. Trustworthy contractors provide a written estimate that will be valid for days or weeks. Never hire someone on the spot. Ask for references and check them.
- No contract offered. Insist on a written contract specifying in detail the work to be performed and the agreed total price, not just price per square foot.
- Cash-only sales. Most reputable contractors take checks or credit cards and don't require cash-only terms.
- Deals that seem too good to be true. If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of work will also be quite low.
- Unmarked truck. Often the trucks they travel in are unmarked or they have an out-of-town address and phone number. A little research will reveal that they have no permanent address and the phone number is often an answering machine.
Remember to work with a contractor that is reputable and trustworthy and if asphalt scammers try to fool you, be sure to report it to the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org as well as the Washington State Attorney General's Office at www.atg.wa.gov.